Nov 25, 2015; San Jose, CA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (81) and San Jose Sharks defenseman Matt Tennyson (80) vie for possession in the 3rd period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports. The Chicago Blackhawks won 5-2
2. Hossa is still Hossa. Ok, let’s start with the obvious. Marian Hossa scored the first goal (power play goal) to get things rolling in the comeback against the Ducks. He also had the team high 6 shots on goal in this tilt. He did this while playing on the third line. Most would argue that Hossa shouldn’t be on the third line. But Coach Q is trying to get more balance across all four lines; so this is where Hossa is delegated right now. On Friday, Hoss was paired with Marcus Kruger and Marko Dano. On Saturday, he lined up with Krugs and Teravainen.
He probably doesn’t like it very much, but Hossa is the ultimate professional. So what does he do? He digs in and makes things happen. Let’s start with some examples from Friday. Trevor Daley’s shot that went off the post in the first period was made possible by a great pass from Hossa. In the second period, Hossa used his strength and skill along the boards to get the puck to a waiting Marcus Kruger at the net. But goaltender John Gibson was able to soak up the shot.
In the third period, Hossa stole the puck during a Duck’s power play and had a chance for a short-handed goal. At one point, Big Hoss did a great job of centering the puck. Dano and Teravainen were there, but they both hesitated and the chance got away.
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My favorite Hossa moment of the night was more of a leadership moment. Late in the second, the Duck’s weren’t happy with Dano’s ability to get to the net. They were giving the new guy some rough treatment after the play. The veteran Hossa calmly skated in and broke things up, like a parent would do with two angry toddlers.
Yes, Hossa could probably be more of a weapon paired with Toews. He actually did play a few shifts with Toews on Saturday, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he was up on the first line again soon. But he can get things done no matter where Coach Q chooses to deploy him.
1. The points are adding up. The Chicago Blackhawks went 3-1-2 on this year’s Circus Trip. It’s not as good as past years; but it still can be considered a winning trip. They accumulated 8 out of a possible 12 points in these six away games. I’d say we could call that a success.
The Hawks currently sit in third place in the Central Division with 29 points. I seem to recall they were in sixth place going into the trip, so things are looking up. The St. Louis Blues are in second place with 33 points, and the Dallas Stars are still running away with things at 38 points.
The Chicago Blackhawks will now host five of their next seven games at the United Center. They just need to keep plugging away, and continue their trend of success at home. Next up? The Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night!
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